Split down the middle by the vast Rocky Mountains and jam-packed with national parks and wilderness areas, Colorado is an ideal travel destination for outdoor pursuits in every season. From skiing and whitewater rafting to hiking, biking and camping, outdoor activities are a way of life in the Centennial State. The state’s fun-loving culture attracts visitors looking for a laidback vacation too. After all, Colorado produces more beer than any other state and is one of only two states in the Union that has legalized marijuana for recreational use. Rich in historical and cultural attractions as well as in natural beauty, the best places to visit in Colorado have something special to offer every visitor.
Southwestern ColoradoOur small town atmosphere and endless beauty allows you to feel the true meaning of a vacation. Refresh your spirit in a place away from the crowds. Restore your sense of fun while exploring over three million acres of wilderness and national forest. Reconnect with family and friends. Come to Pagosa Springs and enjoy simplicity on a grand scale.
This 5-bedroom residence features a stunning family room with a massive gas fireplace and a professional chef’s kitchen with dining area and breakfast nook. No expense was spared on the multi-zone sound system and other electronics throughout the home. Guests can settle into the cozy library/TV room or be blown away by the mineshaft themed cinema with a state-of-the-art digital projector and 11.1-point channel sound and hundreds of first-run movies and TV – all complimentary!
Cushion plants have long taproots that extend deep into the rocky soil. Their diminutive size, like clumps of moss, limits the effect of harsh winds. Many flowering plants of the tundra have dense hairs on stems and leaves to provide wind protection or red-colored pigments capable of converting the sun's light rays into heat. Some plants take two or more years to form flower buds, which survive the winter below the surface and then open and produce fruit with seeds in the few weeks of summer. Grasses and sedges are common where tundra soil is well-developed.
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There’s plenty to do south of Denver on your Colorado vacation. Whether you’re into mountain biking, hiking, history, sight-seeing, or soaking in a hot springs pool, you can find a destination in Southern Colorado (especially near Colorado Springs) that will help you relax, recharge, and reinvigorate. Cañon City and Colorado Springs make the perfect jumping-off points for many of these beautiful, historic western locations. Before or after your rafting trip, try some of these great destinations to enhance your Colorado vacation!
With its reputation for attracting celebrities and well-heeled travelers, Aspen is one of the world’s most famous ski resorts and one of the best places to visit in Colorado. There’s good reason for the all the hype. Four resorts offer great skiing for every level of skier, from the gentle slopes of Buttermilk Mountain to the ungroomed terrain on Aspen Mountain. During warm weather, visitors can fish for trout from the Roaring Fork River or take shuttles to the nearby 14,000-foot (4,300 meter) peaks of the Maroon Bells to enjoy leisurely hikes around Colorado’s most photographed mountains.
Every summer, Aspen gets taken over by classic music lovers during the renowned Aspen Music Festival and School with more than 300 concerts. Learn about Aspen from Dean Weiler during one of his popular Aspen Walking Tours and pay respect to John Denver at the John Denver Sanctuary you will pass by while hiking the picturesque Rio Grande Trail. Next read: best Aspen restaurants.
Snow-fed rivers tumble over granite boulders in the Rocky Mountains, creating an ideal environment for fly-fishing and whitewater rafting. The state's most famous river -- the Colorado -- flows from headwaters in Rocky Mountain National Park, with alternating stretches of heart-pounding hydraulics and quiet areas where you can wade out and cast your fly. Stay at a Bureau of Land Management campground along the shore, or at private riverside cabins such as those found at Colorado Cabin Adventures 3 miles from Grand Lake. For a more remote experience, stay at Cottonwood Cove, tucked along the banks of the Rio Grande just downstream from the picturesque mining town of Creede.
While my grandkids were great company, my only regret about staying at the family friendly and romantic Austria Haus Hotel is that my husband wasn’t with me. Located in Colorado’s Rockies at the base of Vail Mountain, this 25-room boutique property gives guests just a taste of Europe with its Bavarian-style architecture and pedestrian-only cobbled walkway at its entrance.
Considered the base camp for the Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park is less than a 2-hour drive from Denver. Located near the east entrance to the Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park is a quiet area surrounded by protected land. Here you’ll find pristine wilderness with a myriad of both indoor and outdoor activities, from scenic hikes and bike trails to wine tasting and spa treatments. Take the Estes Park Aerial Tramway to the top of a small peak and soak in breathtaking panoramic views of the valley and downtown area, take a walk along the Riverwalk in Downtown Estes Park or take the kids to the Estes Park Ride-A-Kart & Cascade Creek Mini-Golf.
Our lodging is a 300 yd. walk to RMNP. The Big Thompson River flows thru our backyard. Enjoy hiking, wildlife, fishing, birding & photography. Treat yourself to a soak in our riverside hot tub. Some cabins w/ kitchens & fireplaces. Catering to singles, couples & small families. Exceptionally clean & affordable w/ a relaxing atmosphere, personality & charm. Swiftcurrent Lodge on the River Details
Perched on the banks of the San Juan River in Pagosa Springs, this hot-springs haven offers a Relaxation Terrace with five pools that are only accessible to the of-age crowd. The terrace is tucked above the kid-friendly main springs area, and includes a waterfall, fire pit, roman shower, jetted tub and river overlook, along with blissful quiet time. Access to the terrace is complimentary for hotel guests and is available to day visitors for a small fee.
Crested Butte may be off the beaten path, but it’s worth the trip as one of the most stunning mountain towns in all of Colorado. The atmosphere is one that combines the charms of a historic mining town with hippy flair. Set at the base of the Rockies, it’s world-renowned for skiing, but in the warmer months, it becomes a top hiking and mountain biking destination, as well as drawing countless visitors for the chance to take once-in-a-lifetime whitewater rafting adventures through the Taylor Canyon. A true mecca for mountain bikers, there are hundreds of miles of trails linked together to create an endless day of touring from Gothic to Mt. Crested Butte, Irwin to Gunnison, or even from Crested Butte all the way to Aspen. If you don’t have a bike, stop by Big Al’s Bicycle Heaven and rent one for the day or for the length of your stay. In addition to riding the trails, you can ride around town and check out all the historic buildings and funky alleyways.
It’s hard to beat the majestic setting at The Peaks Resort & Spa in Telluride. This property is surrounded by the dramatic peaks of the Rockies in the southwestern region of the state, and is particularly renowned for its spa. Here you can indulge in a variety of rejuvenating treatments like hot stone therapy, soak in the eucalyptus-filled Jacuzzis or take advantage of personal training sessions. Enjoy your days taking part in outdoor adventures like mountain biking or hiking the spectacular trails and then come back to enjoy a
Spa facilities are quite unique - hot springs are housed in the teepee and bath house, while the massage and yoga rooms are located in the Pony Express Stop. Direct feeds from geothermal springs in some of the guest cabins are even more surprising and a fun adventure honeymoon idea. Spa treatments offered at the spa include wraps, reflexology, Trager Therapy, hot rocks massage and other holistic and therapeutic healing techniques. The resort is situated near the Four Corners and in the midst of two national forests where you can enjoy hiking, climbing, snow-shoeing, back country skiing, heli-skiing and fly fishing on your adventure honeymoon.
Nature lovers can go hiking, white water rafting, horseback riding or climbing in one of the surrounding national parks, or you could choose to explore historic archaeological sites such as Hovenweep, Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde. The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is a highlight of any visit and you can combine various adventure sports packages with your scenic train ride. Keep reading for more Colorado points of interest. Things to Do in Durango
Bedrooms enjoy air-conditioning and central heating, mini refrigerators, and free Wi-Fi while private bathrooms have rain showers and Jacuzzi whirlpools. A delicious full English breakfast is served each morning in the inn’s elegant dining room, and lunch and dinner can be taken at the inn on request. The inn is within walking distance of several excellent restaurants in Colorado Springs as well as other entertainment.
Garden of the Gods, a registered National Natural Landmark, is a unique landscape of jagged stone towers and fins jutting up 300 feet from the earth, and giant balanced boulders and rock piles dotting the landscape, with distant mountains completing the scene. Fifteen miles of trails, most of which are short and easy, allow you to get up close to the dramatic rock formations and wander through the surreal scenery. The park is a popular area for rock climbing, but other activities in the park include road biking in designated biking lanes, mountain biking, horseback riding, and Jeep and Segway tours.
Situated in Southern Colorado, the Great Sand Dunes National Park is an impressive sight. Shaped by winds blowing from and against the nearby Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the piles of sand climb to more than 750 feet (230 meters), making them the tallest dunes in North America. Sand-boarding, skiing and sledding on the dunes are the park’s most popular activities, and there are medium-size slopes to slide on located near the main parking area. A longer hike to the north brings thrill seekers to a 300-foot (90 meter) slope that tumbles onto into Medano Creek.
The St. Regis Resort offers castle-like grandeur and a staff that will treat you like royalty. It also has a menu of romantic vacation packages that are perfect for honeymooners, and all can be customized just for you and your new spouse. You can choose things like in-room dining, spa gift certificates for its decadent Remede Spa, as well as having flowers, chocolate-covered strawberries and sparkling wine delivered and waiting in your room upon your arrival. The property sits at the base of Aspen Mountain, just steps away to many of Aspen’s top restaurants and shops. The resort has its own eatery onsite too, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as hosting live music at night.
The Experience: This gorgeous crystal-blue mountain scene captures Loch Lake, which is in the Rocky Mountain National Park. Take a day trip here to see the national wonder and spend the rest of your vacation enjoying the charming college town of Boulder. Stay at the St. Julien and enjoy a spa treatment or book a room at the hip, adult-only Basecamp Hotel for a quintessential Colorado vibe.
Since it’s just the two of you, a tiny house would be a great choice for the most romantic vacation. The small house known as “Dreamy Romance Parisian Honeymoon Cottage” in Colorado is the perfect option for lovebirds. In addition to the comfortable bed and beautiful decor, there is a small, beautiful, private garden where you can have a glass of wine with your partner and watch the changing colors of the gorgeous sunset.
Guests are treated to a delicious gourmet three-course breakfast every morning along with complimentary bedtime snacks. An intimate library and comfortable lobby offer the perfect place to curl up with a book, an experience that is even nicer when it’s done in front of a crackling fire. The adjacent Rocky Mountain National Park provides a variety of activities from hiking and mountain biking to mountain climbing, fishing, and wildlife watching.
There’s no need to travel far from Denver unless you really want to. Boulder is less than an hour’s drive away and is home to the luxurious St. Julien Hotel and Spa. One of the state’s most romantic properties, by booking the St. Julien Suite you’ll enjoy an opulent two-room suite with a balcony, deep soaking tub and plenty of room and relax, unwind and enjoy your time together. You can even order up an in-room couples’ massage. When you do want to venture outside of your room, you’ll find lots to do in town and nearby. Hike the scenic trails that skirt its famous Flatirons Mountains, stroll through legendary open-air mall on Pearl Street, and dine at some fabulous restaurants like The Med, with its Greek Island-themed interior, fine wine and sumptuous Mediterranean small plates.